Kochi: Extending a helping hand to an ailing auto driver who underrwent a heart transplant, the State government Sunday said it would bear the cost of the Naval air ambulance which was used to transport the organ for the surgery.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who made the announcement, also said the government was planning to arrange a permanent air ambulance facility in the state to provide speedy and effective treatment for people suffering from serious ailments.
Visiting 47-year-old Mathew Achadan, recuperating after the transplantation of the heart of a brain dead man, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the government would pay to the Navy the cost of Rs six lakh incurred for flying the Dornier aircraft.
In the first such mission in the state, the Naval aircraft was arranged at the intervention of Chandy to ferry the heart of brain-dead lawyer Neelakantan Sharma from the Sree Chitra Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram to the Lissie hospital here last week.
Chandy's decision to bear the air ambulance expenditure came after the district authorities informed him about the inability of Mathew's poor family in paying the unexpected cost for transportation.
Already the treatment expenses, estimated to be Rs 25 lakh, were being borne by a committee formed by people from his native place.
A team of doctors, led by eminent cardiologist Jose Periyappuram at the Lissie Hospital, successfully transplanted the heart in Mathew Achadan of Chalakudi.
The Chief Minister congratulated all those participated in the successful complex operation.
He said the state government would continue to encourage such endeavours in future also.
The Chief Minister also expressed special thanks to the kin of Sharma who donated the heart.